Hunchback regulates the temporal identity of neuroblasts in Drosophila. Here we show that hbl-1, the C. elegans hunchback ortholog, also controls temporal patterning. Furthermore, hbl-1 is a probable target of microRNA regulation through its 3′UTR. hbl-1 loss-of-function causes the precocious expression of adult seam cell fates. This phenotype is similar to loss-of-function of lin-41, a known target of the let-7 microRNA. Like lin-41 mutations, hbl-1 loss-of-function partially suppresses a let-7 mutation. The hbl-1 3′UTR is both necessary and sufficient to downregulate a reporter gene during development, and the let-7 and lin-4 microRNAs are both required for HBL-1/GFP downregulation. Multiple elements in the hbl-1 3′UTR show complementarity to regulatory microRNAs, suggesting that microRNAs directly control hbl-1. MicroRNAs may likewise function to regulate Drosophila hunchback during temporal patterning of the nervous system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology